March for Our Lives: Students in Cedar Rapids will rally against gun violence

Published: Mar. 22, 2018 at 3:24 AM CDT
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Survivors of last month's deadly shooting at a school in Parkland Florida are taking their fight for stricter gun control in D.C. and students in Eastern Iowa are following in their footsteps.

This Saturday, they'll take part in the "March for Our Lives," demonstration in Cedar Rapids while thousands march in Washington.

Students tell us they're trying to push for stricter gun laws both within Iowa and nationwide and they are hoping that this "March for Our Lives" rally will help their voices be heard.

Emma Lassen is a junior from Jefferson High School and one of the organizers of the event.

She watched as students from Parkland held marches to protest gun violence and she wanted to bring that momentum to Cedar Rapids.

Over the past few weeks, there have been several schools in Eastern Iowa from Cedar Rapids, to Iowa City, and Dubuque where students have walked out of class to protest gun violence and to honor the 17 victims who lost their lives in Parkland, Florida.

Lassen hopes this march on Saturday will prompt legislators to think about stricter gun control laws.

"Politicians will realize that we need stricter laws about who can acquire these guns, assault weapons really shouldn't be in the hands of students and so we want to make it more difficult for people who shouldn't have these weapons to have them," says Lassen.

In Cedar Rapids, students applied for a permit with the City a few weeks ago so they could organize this event.

Kevin Drahos, a student from Linn-Mar High School says it's a time to talk to Iowa lawmakers about ways to curb gun violence in schools.

"It doesn't have to be banning guns, it doesn't have to be arming teachers, but there are other ways we can also go about this and compromise in a way you whether it's making a tiered system to address the needs of students identified to be a risk or a threat to the school instead of expelling them or suspending them, let's give them the tools to get better," says Drahos.

Both students say they couldn't do this alone, not only are they getting support from students in other schools around Cedar Rapids, but Raygun is also sponsoring this event by helping to cover its cost.

March for Our Lives is taking place this Saturday, March 24 at 10 a.m. at Greene Square in downtown Cedar Rapids.

This event is open to students, teachers, parents and anyone who wants to attend.